Merry Christmas one and all. Except Everton, you’re still on the naughty list.
Nothing seems to test your patience and loyalty quite like supporting the Toffees, who were utterly woeful against an admittedly ruthless Tottenham side on Sunday.
After going in front, Everton were then a touch unlucky to see Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s goal ruled out for a push, with Jordan Pickford’s rush of blood at the other end compounding matters.
But the way the team collapsed from then on, with Spurs cutting through them seemingly at will, was alarming.
The one positive is that it my have reset expectations to a more realistic level. Tottenham held the mirror up on front of us and we didn’t like what we saw. Everton are a million miles away from the top six at present and it will take more than one transfer window to sort out.
It may even push Silva and Marcel Brands into the January market, with a new right-back now looking increasingly important. We all love Seamus Coleman but he has struggled this season, suggesting that serious injury may have permanently taken something from his game.
But, in truth, no-one really emerged with any credit from Sunday and a huge response is needed against Burnley. At least we don’t play anyone from the top six until the end of February.
The Silva out shouts are ridiculous and mainly restricted to a few oddballs looking for attention on social media (which they got, to be fair). The reason why the squad is a mess is because it contains players brought by four different managers. Having gone with Silva in the summer he needs time and patience to see the job through. If we are in a similar situation in two years then it will be time for consider change. For now, consistency and stability is vital.
After the highs of last season, which saw them finish seventh and qualify for Europe, there was always going to be an element of second season syndrome with Burnley this time around.
This time last year Burnley were sixth and just two points outside the top four. Now they are 18th and just two points off the bottom of the table.
It can’t be denied that the team vastly over-performed last year so a return to the bottom half isn’t exactly a shock. The extent of their struggles has perhaps surprised some, though the club deserve credit for sticking with Sean Dyche and refusing to panic.
Defence seems to be where the biggest decline has occurred. The Clarets have conceded 36 goals already this season, only three fewer than the whole of last campaign.
They do, however, have an impressive recent record against the Toffees, winning three of their last four meetings. Everton have also lost three of their last four visits to Turf Moor, including the last two.
Idrissa Gueye will be assessed after missing Everton’s last two matches. Andre Gomes is also a doubt after limping off against Tottenham.
Yerry Mina could also be recalled as Silva looks to shake up the side in response to that Spurs humiliation.
Everton wouldn’t be Everton without lurching towards a crisis at some point during a season and it looks like we have now reached that point.
The derby result seems to have knocked the stuffing (no Christmas pun intended) out of the players as they have struggled to perform since.
But if that scrappy, unfortunate defeat sent them on a downward spiral, maybe a scrappy, fortunate victory will send things on an upward curve again? I’d certainly take that on Boxing Day.